Illinois man becomes 27th to be killed by the West Nile virus as judge declares epidemic to be a public emergency in Dallas, Texas
An Illinois man has been killed by the West Nile virus, sparking fears the deadly disease is spreading.
76-year-old William Mueller died on Saturday, two weeks after being hospitalised.
Serving as president of Lombard Village, Mueller was described by his family as ‘an amazing dad, husband and grandpa’.
He becomes the 27th person to be killed by the mosquito-borne virus in the U.S., of 694 cases – the sharpest spike in case numbers seen since 2004 that is baffling experts..
‘It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years,’ Marc Fischer of the CDC told CNN.
‘Regardless of the reasons for the increase, people should be aware of the West Nile virus activity in their area and take action to protect themselves and their family.’
There is no medication to treat West Nile virus, symptoms of which include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.
No vaccinations exist, either.
The Majority of cases have been recorded in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
In Dallas panic has deepened since a judge declared the epidemic to be a public health emergency.
An aerial assault was launched on the blood-sucking insect population for the first time in 45 years in a bid to combat the spread.